Verb Conjugation Simple Present Tense

Recall our lesson on Nepali pronouns. How one addresses someone else is rooted in hierarchies of respect and purity. For each pronoun, there are corresponding verb conjugations. For learners whose first-language is English, this will come as a new, but important concept. Below we will explore simple present tense for the most common Nepali pronouns and a practice activity.

Pronouns & Respect Level:

म (ma)       I
तपाईँ (tapāīm̐     You (high respect)
तिमी (timī      You (medium respect)
हामी (hāmī     We
उहाँ/उहाँहरु (uha/waha) /(uhaharu/wahaharu)   He/She/They (high respect) (singular vs plural)
(u)         He/ She (neutral respect)
उनी (uni)       He/ She (medium respect)
उनीहरू (uni-haru)     They (medium respect)

Positive Simple Present Tense Conjugation बोल्नु  (to speak) 

For every pronoun (except तपाईँ & उहाँ)  in positive present tense we remove नु to get the root बोल of which we conjugate. For तपाईँ & उहाँ we keep the basic form of the verb intact and add हुन्छ.

म      बोल + छु बोल्छु      I speak
तपाईँ       बोल्नु + हुन्छ बोल्नुहुन्छ     You speak
तिमी      बोल + छौ बोल्छौ  You speak
हामी      बोल + छौं बोल्छौँ     We speak
उहाँ/उहाँहरु      बोल्नु + हुन्छ  बोल्नुहुन्छ     They speak
      बोल + छ बोल्छ     He/She speaks
उनी   बोल + छन् /छिन  (masculine/feminine) बोल्छन/बोल्छिन   He/She Speaks
उनीहरू    बोल + छन् /छिन  (masculine/feminine) बोल्छन/बोल्छिन   They speak


Negative Simple Present Tense Conjugation खेल्नु (to play) 

If the root  of the verb ends in a syllable or a vowel sound, add ँ (nasal)  to the last syllable. If the root ends in a consonant, skip this step. Example: खानु—> खा (khā) + ँ () = खाँ (khām̐) + suffix.


म     खेल + दिनँ खेल्दिनं     I don’t play
तपाईँ       खेल्नु + हुँदैन खेल्नुहुंदैन   You don’t play
तिमी      खेल + दैनौ खेल्दैनौ   You don’t play
हामी      खेल + दैनौँ खेल्दैनौं   We don’t play
उहाँ/उहाँहरु   खेल्नु + हुँदैन खेल्नुहुंदैन    They don’t play
      खेल + दैन खेल्दैन    He/She doesn’t play
उनी   खेल + दैनन् /दिनन् (masculine/feminine) खेल्दैनन/खेल्दिनन  He/She doesn’t play
उनीहरू  खेल + दैनन् /दिनन् (masculine/feminine) खेल्दैनन/खेल्दिनन  They don’t play

*Be mindful of the difference between I don’t and He/She doesn’t (दिनँ vs दैन)

Let’s Practice!

Translate the sentence into Nepali using devanagari script and the correct conjugations.


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